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Early Years Foundation Stage Staff

Class RJD  

Joanne Downing

EYFS and Year 1 Lead

Hi I'm Jo, I came to The Vaynor in April 2014 to lead the Early Years and co-ordinate English across the school. I enjoy going on bike rides in my spare time and keeping fit with my two young children. I enjoy observing the children and watching them become independent learners.  

Jo Merrick 

Jo is a dedicated Teaching Assistant and also a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. She works in Reception with Jo in RJD. Jo is a very talented artist and enjoys creating colourful displays in the Foundation Stage unit.

Rebecca Radway


Rebecca works as a 1:1 supporting the specific needs of a child in RJD.

Class RCH


Christina Collett

Hello, I'm Christina and I joined The Vaynor First School in September 2015. This year I will be teaching in EYFS. I am excited to get to know the children and their families. I love teaching and I enjoy creating a fun and inspiring learning environment for our children. 


In my spare time, I spend quality time with my husband and our little girl. We enjoy new adventures, crafts and family time. I love travelling and spending time with family and friends too. ‚Äč

Aimee Heath

Hi, I'm Aimee and I joined The Vaynor First School in September 2018. This year I am excited to be teaching in EYFS. I'm really looking forward to getting to know the children and supporting them through their first year at school. 

In December 2021 I had my little boy, Reuben. We love to spend time together, he especially enjoys going swimming and playing outside. I also enjoy watching films and seeing my friends and family. 

I'm excited to return back to Vaynor from my maternity leave. 

Cathy Lees

Cathy loves to make learning fun and active for the children at The Vaynor.

In her spare she likes to spend time with her two teenage daughters. She enjoys taking weekends away with her family and going on walks.

Class RAA


Amy Arbuckle

Hello, I'm Amy and I'm excited to be joining The Vaynor First School this September. I will be teaching in Reception and I'm looking forward to welcoming and getting to know the children and families. I've had previous experience in EYFS whilst living in Australia. I enjoy creating exciting and engaging learning areas for children to explore. 

I have a keen interest in Art. I enjoy using collage and watercolour to create art from nature such as flowers and insects. In my spare time I Iike to visit art galleries and go on walks in nature. I love to spend time with my family and friends, going out for meals and exploring new places. 

Yvonne Hardacre

Yvonne works alongside Amy in RAA. She enjoys taking the children outside to learn in the environment around them. Children love to explore their world in the fresh air and this is an approach all Reception classes use (and other classes too!). In her spare time Yvonne enjoys spending time with her daughter. 

  Tina Gittins 

Tina spends her morning working with small groups of children across the Reception classes to support them with their learning.